FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — If you found yourself at the East Frankfort Kroger around 10:45 on Wednesday morning, you may have run into Governor Andy Beshear, First Lady Britainy Beshear, and the First Dog Winnie.
The Beshears were ringing bells to raise awareness for the Salvation Army's Red Kettle Campaign.
"Everybody deserves an incredible Christmas — a meaningful Christmas — and the Salvation Army helps make sure that that happens," said Beshear as he stood by a red kettle.
A few feet away from him, the first lady and Winnie stood by a second red kettle. They competed to see which Beshear could raise more money.
"I don't think anybody would guess wrong about who is winning," said the governor. "I think the dog is an unfair advantage."
"Absolutely and I'll take it," replied the first lady.
Friendly competition aside, the governor spoke about how the donations this year may be extra important.
"The Salvation Army is always important throughout the year — especially at Christmas — but maybe most so this Christmas," said Beshear. "With food prices up, with inflation — while temporary — still tough, this is the year where that extra dollar that you give may help a family have a Christmas closer to what they're used to."
The donations will be used to help around 400 kids in Frankfort this Christmas alone. Across the state, that number jumps into the thousands.
"Across the Salvation Army, thousands and thousands. But here in Frankfort, a little over 400 children will have a very merry Christmas because of this program and the generosity of the folks of Frankfort," said Major Curtis Sayre, a Salvation Army Corps Officer in Frankfort.
While the Salvation Army's work becomes more prominent around the holidays, the group works to help Kentucky families year-round. And this year, they've noticed an increase in people requesting help.
"We get a lot of calls from folks who honestly don't know if they're going to have a place to live next month," said Sayre.
So, the Salvation Army encourages those who can to please consider donating. According to the group, every dollar raised through the Red Kettle Campaign remains in the community.